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Several Bangladeshi handicraft units face closure
May '11
The export earnings from Bangladeshi handicrafts are significantly declining, according to the data from the country's Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

If the trend continues, it is feared that several handicraft manufacturing units might close their shutters, making a good number of female workers unemployed in the process.

The fact that most of these female workers belong to the underprivileged sections of the society makes the situation even more worrisome.

According to the EPB data, the income earned from exporting handicrafts during the first ten months of 2010-11 was US$ 3.48 million, which is only one-third of the 2006-07 earnings of US$ 8.16 million.

The declining export trend can be gauged by the fact that earnings from Bangladeshi handicrafts had declined to US$ 5.49 million in 2007-08, and further declined to US$ 3.79 million in 2009-10.

One reason for the decreasing export trend, according to industry analysts, is that the handicraft sector does not enjoy any major benefits from the Government, except for the 20 percent cash incentive.

Bangladeshi handicrafts have customers in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the Middle East, the US and the UK. Hence, to explore the potentials of this sector, among other things, the handicrafts sector looks forward to the Government for setting up a modern craft village.

Further, it also expects the Government to help the local producers by providing necessary infrastructure including common service centre, bulk warehouse, and design centre.

Extending low-interest loan and other facilities to handicraft manufacturers would also go a long way in helping them set up their own factories, they say.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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